Kopernik and Plan International partner for a new economic empowerment project for young people
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 15:56

By Feby Ramadhani

Kopernik and Plan International partner for a new economic empowerment project for young people


Kopernik is proud to announce a new project in partnership with Plan International. The Youth Change Agent project will provide 60 young men and women from East Nusa Tenggara with skills and knowledge to launch their own small-scale enterprises. Similar to Kopernik's Wonder Women program, this project will empower young people by equipping them with a range of business skills such as leadership, confidence building, communications, conflict management, and financial management.

Indonesia has the fourth largest youth population in the world, with over 43.5 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24. However, the country has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Asia. Despite Indonesia’s healthy economic growth, in comparison to its neighboring countries, job availability is still lacking for young people, particularly in rural areas. Millions of unskilled and poorly educated young people are falling into this gap and cannot access solid work. In East Nusa Tenggara, one of the poorest provinces in Indonesia, unemployment rates are incredibly high, and are in fact increasing every year. In addition to the low levels of education and training in this area, access to clean water, sanitation and electricity is limited.

Funded by British social impact foundation UKNO Spindrift, the project will focus its efforts on young people living on the remote island of Lembata in East Nusa Tenggara, where job prospects are extremely poor. The participants will be given intensive training, individual mentorship, and will complete an exciting 80-day technology distribution challenge. At the end of the program, they will be ready to launch businesses that address identified needs and challenges within their communities, such as the lack of access to clean water. 

The ultimate aim of the project is that these young people will become ‘Change Champions’ in their communities – inspiring other young people to explore alternative sources of income, find innovative solutions to environmental problems, and minimise the negative impacts of these issues on the environment around them.
In order to sustain the impact of this program, Kopernik and Plan International have partnered with Kopdit Ankara, a financial cooperative that supports small to medium sized businesses. At the conclusion of the 80-day challenge, the participants of the program will receive funding capital to kickstart their enterprises, along with financial management training to ensure they have a thorough understanding of the responsible management of the capital.
The progress and results of this project will be shared with the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration - the Indonesian government institution responsible for labour affairs - and other relevant stakeholders within the public sector to showcase how an empowering approach towards youth unemployment can benefit the community on many levels. Given the right skills, and access to alternative ways to generate income, young men and women will have the chance to support themselves, their communities and the environment around them.